The controversial and much-debated auction for the 700MHz spectrum is half a year away. Huge companies voicing many different opinions are all “encouraging” the FCC one way or the other, including Google, Verizon, AT&T and others.

This week, the FCC will lay down the rules for the auction, which will give all the bidding companies more perspective on how much they can invest and whether or not they will want to. Many people and companies have high hopes for public interest on the spectrum, including Google and the FCC Chairman:

FCC chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican, broke the ice on the issue when he leaned toward some openness for the spectrum. "Depending on how the commission structures the upcoming auction, we will either enable the emergence of a third broadband pipe -- one that would be available to rural as well as urban America -- or we will miss our biggest opportunity."
Google promised $4.6 Billion towards the auction, assuming the rules are crafted to their liking. Comes Tuesday, we'll know what lies ahead. The article makes a good point regarding broadband penetration in the U.S., in which the country has lapsed from being number one to being in the double digits in the past 10 years, showing just how quickly Internet in the rest of the world is progressing compared to the U.S.